The Special Operations Service Ribbon is awarded to personnel of the Armed Forces serving in any capacity with the Coast Guard (and certain other individuals) who participate in significant numbers in a Coast Guard special operation, not involving combat, and who have not been recognized by another service award for the same operation. The following categories of special operations represent events for which this ribbon may be authorized.
Coast Guard operations of a special nature involving multiple agency involvement pertaining to national security or law enforcement.
Coast Guard operations of a special nature in support of special events drawing large media interest and public attention.
Coast Guard operations or involvement with foreign government in all areas of saving life and property at sea.
Coast Guard operations of assistance for friendly and/or developing nations.